It’s been -1 degrees outside, so it’s time to put your grains away. Whether you soaked them overnight in a big bucket of water or did some sterilization with baking soda and vinegar, if they’re going bad, you don’t want to eat them anymore! Here are some tips on 10 tips for long term grain storage for longer than just a few weeks:
- Store them in four parts rather than one container. It doesn’t have to be a massive bucket; it could just be a big bucket with lids. We keep them in four parts because the humidity tends to build up in the middle of them.
- Refrain from mixing winter and summer grains, especially not together simultaneously. It’s surprising how different their flavor is when you put them next to each other! You can almost always tell which season your grains are from by looking at where they finished on the stalk.
- If you’ve already cooked your grains and they’re getting more than a month away from being eaten, you can pop them in the dehydrator for a few hours. This will kill off most of their enzymes that turn them into mush, but it won’t stop the mold that causes food poisoning.
- Only store food in its original container especially long term. Mylar bags are incredibly cheap to make, and they keep things fresh much longer than just letting air in through the zipper or at the top of the lid (if you use those methods).
- Leaching is when you put your grains in a bag and pour boiling water over them (for winter grains) or add hot water to them (for summer grains). Depending on your taste and preferences, you will then pour off the water.
- Summer Grains are almost universally very easy to grow in a garden! It is possible that it’s too late in the year to get any growth, but many of them can be grown very easily just by scattering seeds everywhere (including in the garden).
- Storing your grains in a hot place is not for the benefit of your grains. It’s to kill any microbes on them so that you don’t get a bad reaction from the spores. A temperature of 120 degrees is ideal (give or take 5 degrees), but temperatures as high as 140 degrees are acceptable.
- If you can get it, storing your grain in something called “Urane Soil/Sand” is better for keeping it fresh than just about anything else! It does keep things longer.
- When working with grains that need to be cooked, you can also store them in a freezer. An easy way to do this is to get rubber bands and wrap your grains in them. You’re even more likely to be able to keep the rubber bands off of your hands, and your grains will be more likely to survive!
- If you have doubts about keeping your grain fresh, cook it yourself before storing it! This can prevent you from putting harmful microbes into potentially healthy foods when they are most susceptible.
So there you have it! These are just a few tips to keep your grains fresh longer. I’m not sure why people think grains aren’t safe food after so long, but I hope these tips will help you keep them for longer than six months! Many people are good at 10 tips for long term grain storage, but everyone can learn to be better at it too.